/ 10 August 2011

Transnet, Eskom bonds rated higher than US

Transnet and Eskom bonds are now more highly rated than United States government bonds, according to the latest ratings by Fitch and Moody’s Investment Services.

After revising the parastatal’s outlook last month, Fitch affirmed Eskom’s national long-term rating at AAA(zaf) with a stable outlook, according to the Business Report on Wednesday.

The agency also affirmed Transnet’s government guaranteed bond issue at AAA(zaf).

The utility’s national long-term rating was affirmed at AA-(zaf) with a stable outlook.

These ratings meant that the two South African utilities were now more creditworthy than the US after rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the country’s credit rating from the top-notch AAA on Friday to AA+.

The favourable rating would ease the cost of borrowing in international markets for both Eskom and Transnet as they were currently seeking funds for multibillion-rand expansion programmes.

S&P adjusted the ratings and outlooks of the two parastatals in January, moving Eskom up to stable from negative.